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DISCOURSE XIII.

ISAIAH, CHAP. xl. VER. 9.

BRINGEST GOOD

"O ZION, THAT "TIDINGS, GET THEE UP INTO "THE HIGH MOUNTAIN! O JERU66 SALEM, THAT BRINGEST GOOD "TIDINGS, LIFT UP THY VOICE "WITH STRENGTH; LIFT IT UP,

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BE NOT AFRAID! SAY UNTO THE "CITIES OF JUDAH, BEHOLD YOUR "GOD!"

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O perfon of true tafte and difcernment can attentively peruse the writings of the Prophets, and particularly those of the Sublime Ifaiah, without being charmed with that peculiar dignity of fentiment, and elegance of VOL. II. expreffion,

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expreffion, by which they are fo eminently distinguished from all human compofitions. Compared with these, what are the moft towering flights of Attic or of Roman genius? They are as the feeble flutterings of fome little feathered fongfter, that can scarcely reach the topmaft branch of the grove, to the foaring pinion of the king of birds, that hides himself aloft amid the blaze of day. That tafte and difcernment, however, which enables us to feel and admire any masterly ftrokes of human clocution, being a natural talent, though capable of confiderable improvement by art and education, is by no means fufficient to lead us into the true Spirit of the Prophetic Writings: their majesty of fentiment, their elegance of expreffion, are not derived from the fources of nature or education, nor from the grandeur of the fubjects upon which they speak,. but rather from the immediate Illumination of an Infpiring DEITY.

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"They spake what they knew, and tef"tified what they had feen." Heaven opened itself upon their inward fenfes. By the light of a fuperior world, they diftinctly difcerned the past, present, and future state of things, in this lower orb: and what they saw, under fuch an irradiating influence, they immediately expreffed, in fuch strength and beauty of language, as must indeed excite the admiration of all, but can be understood and felt by thofe only, who are so happy as to enjoy the fame Heavenly Light with themselves.

My text affords us an illuftrious inftance of the truth of these observations. Some of the most admired figures of rhetoric are here introduced, in an easy, natural, and yet exalted manner. The Prophet, enraptured with a view of the wonders and bleffings to be opened in the approaching Kingdom of the MESSIAH, and which were to be outwardly vifible

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fible in the territory of Judea, calls upon the favoured land to proclaim the happy tidings to its utmost borders: "O Zion, "that bringest good tidings, get thee up " into the high mountain! O Jerufalem, "that bringest good tidings, lift up thy "voice with strength: lift it up, be not "afraid: fay unto the cities of Judah, "Behold your GOD!"

In the marginal tranflation, which is preferred by many commentators, we find the expreffion fomewhat varied. Inftead of "O Zion, &c." we read, "O

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thou, that telleft good tidings to Zion, "&c. O thou, that telleft good tidings "to Jerufalem," &c. But notwithstanding this variation in the reading, the Inward Senfe and Spirit of the words is exactly the fame.

According to the marginal interpretation, the Prophet calls upon fome herald or meffenger, fome Apostle or Evangelift,

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